Visual Verse: John 16:33

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“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT

It’s been a tough season in my world, and not to minimize it or trivialize it but keeping it in perspective helps to keep my eyes, heart and mind on what’s the real truth…and that is not how I feel or what other people may do, or say, but what it says in God’s Word. THAT, my friends, is what you can cling to.

Take heart sweet sisters!

Visual Verses are simply verse that have been on my heart that I’ve made into graphics. It’s a way to keep the Scriptures in front of me each day.

Please feel free to download this graphic to enjoy as well…on your phone, tablet, computer or even pin it on your pinterest page.

Either way it’s yours to enjoy!

Seeking JOY on the Journey,

Melissa

Book Review: The Wedding Planners of Butternut Creek

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My Thoughts About the Book:

I have absolutely enjoyed every single book in this sweet little series set in Butternut Creek. The widows are endearing and the interwoven stories of the members of the congregation are entertaining, realistic and simply adorable. It was great to see the story unfold of Pastor Adam and watch yet another level of detail, his hard to understand and complicated sister to the mix. It was like sitting in on an episode of little house on the prairie, full of fun, adventure and good clean heart warming stories. Thank you for yet another great book in this series!

About the Book:

The ladies of Butternut Creek Christian Church known as the Widows have always taken pride in their infallible matchmaking. They’ve succeeded again, and having found the perfect wife for Pastor Adam, they’re ready to start planning the wedding. The one problem is that Adam has yet to propose. Clearly he still needs their help.

Meanwhile, Adam’s sister Hannah, a doctor, has returned from work in refugee camps, exhausted from the horrors she’s seen. Though physically weak, Hannah becomes animated when verbally sparring with Gabe Borden, the high school basketball coach. The Widows, however, see sparks of a different kind between them and are soon up to their matchmaking ways once again.

Link to Buy the Book: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/jane-myers-perrine/the-wedding-planners-of-butternut-creek/9780892969036/#desc

About the Author:

jane myers perrineA Missouri native, Jane Myers Perrine earned her B.A. from Kansas State University and her M.Ed. in Spanish from the University of Louisville. She was a finalist in the Regency category of the Golden Heart Awards, and her short pieces have appeared in the Houston Chronicle and Woman’s World magazine. A high-school Spanish teacher as well as an ordained minister, she currently lives in Texas with her husband, who is the minister of a local Christian church.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 

Bible Readeez Review

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My Thoughts About the CD/DVD:

In all my years serving  in Kids Ministry I’m pretty sure that I’ve never seen anything like the Bible Readeez DVD. There is so much fun packed into every song on this CD/DVD. What an incredibly creative way to get kids into the Word of God– in a way they already love, through music and video.

As the Kids Ministry Director at my church I am always on the look out for new ways to bring kids and their families things they can enjoy together at church and in their homes. I love that the songs and videos are perfectly balanced to be engaging for kids while also staying true to Scripture. Parents will love that this is something that their preschool and elementary age children enjoy as well as being something they can listen to enjoy together as a family.

About the Bible Readeez:

It’s the Bible’s Greatest Hits: Word-for-word texts of beloved Scripture passages – ideal for memorization – set in gorgeous new melodies by renowned children’s songwriter Michael Rachap. Classic inspiration like Psalm 23, The Beatitudes, St. Paul’s Epistle on Love, Psalm 100, The Lord’s Prayer and many more come vividly to life in this first-of-its-kind DVD/CD set. Each of these powerful songs is presented in a video with Readeez’ ingenious SyllableSync technique. So kids gain critical reading skills while they internalize the timeless messages. Bonus content includes clear spoken-word readings of the texts (audio and video). From children’s publishing innovator The Readeez Company, this new collection is destined to become a must-have for every family’s media library.

Have a look at the contents:

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You can purchase a copy here: http://www.readeez.com/bible-readeez

Here’s a preview video: http://youtu.be/PSl7Dp-zzCE

About the Readeez Creator:

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Michael Rachap: An alumnus of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, here he studied songwriting and music production, Michael created Readeez in 2005 as a way to entertain and educate his young daughter. Rachap, a lifelong musician and composer, plays piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, melodica and other instruments. He also does all of the video animation. Prior to starting The Readeez Company, Rachap worked as an advertising copywriter, including four years as Associate Creative Director at DDB New York. He now lives in Atlanta with his wife and daughter.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Daily Reflections on the Names of God, by Ava Pennington

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My Thoughts About the Book:

I am a huge fan of daily devotionals, you may already know that. Some of my favorites are ones that I read for years and years — like Jesus Calling, My Utmost for His Highest, At the Feet of Jesus…and now one of my new favorites is “Daily Reflections on the Names of God”.

Ava Pennington has packed in the meat and potatoes on each day in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you but simply reaches in and digs a little deeper. Knowing the names of God and allowing those names to draw you closer to Him while also uncovering some new insights and nuggets that you may have never noticed before.

With little symbols on the top of each page they guide you to look at each name or attribute of God in the devotional that day by looking “up”, looking “in” or looking “out”. Each day is ready for you to sit and soak in while allowing you to lean in to who God really is. This devotional is sure to be one that I read over and over again for many years.

On a personal note, I just have to mention that not only is this devotional rich with goodness, grace and mercy…but so is the author, Ava Pennington. She sent me this book almost two years ago and through various rabbit trails and delays I am just not posting the review and I’m doing so not because I “have to” but because as a woman in ministry and as a writer/speaker myself I could not let this sweet little gem of a book go by unnoticed, nor could I let the incredible author go unnoticed as well. Thank you thank you thank you Ava for your grace. You are a true gem! ~ Melissa

About the book:

Perfect. Almighty. The One Who Sees. Jealous. Forgiver.

Every name of God revealed in the Bible shows us something about his character and his ways. As the facets of a diamond combine to reflect its brilliance, the names and attributes of God combine to reveal the transcendence of his nature and the glory of his ways.

Daily Reflections on the Names of God offers readers a wonderful opportunity to spend time each day getting to know God more intimately. At the end of a year, they’ll be able to say they know him better than they did a year ago.

This insightful guide to the names of God provides 366 life-changing, personal devotions for new Christians and longtime believers. As readers explore 122 names and attributes of God, they will discover something special about who God is, who they are, and how they relate to others. Includes a Scripture and name index for easy navigation to favorite verses.

You can purchase a copy here: Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional 

About the Author:

© 2010 Martin Alan Grivjack Photography Martin Alan Grivjack PhotographyAva Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker.

Originally from New York City, she left a twenty-year corporate career as a Human Resources executive. But don’t call her retired! She now teaches a weekly, interdenominational Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 180+ women from September through May.

Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts International.

Ava also writes for organizations such as Focus on the Family, Christianity Today, and Haven Ministries. She has been published in 24 anthologies, including seventeen Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

She has also co-authored two children’s picture books, Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today?

Her training includes an Adult Bible Studies Certificate from Moody Bible Institute and an MBA in Executive Management from St. John’s University.  If you’re looking for a speaker, she delights in challenging audiences with relevant, enjoyable presentations.

Please visit www.AvaWrites.com for more information.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: A Promise Kept, by Robin Lee Hatcher

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My Thoughts About the Book:

Absolutely spectacular. Inspiring and completely intimate. Deep. Powerful. Raw. Emotional and just, as one of my friends would say, sublime. Untangling the complicated lives of Tony & Allison Kavanagh was real, messy and hard at times, but so is real life, isn’t it? The richness of the characters immediately endeared them to me and their up and down battle to save and even let go of their marriage was gut-wrenchingly honest.

The cherry on top of this beautiful mess was winding through the pages of Allison’s great aunt Emma’s life. The stories we think we know from our family and their past meets head on with the truth written in the diaries that Emma wrote of her life in the 20′s and 30′s. Emma’s story helps Allison to heal from her own failed marriage, find peace in her life and then…also well, I guess you are just going to have to pick up a copy and find out for yourself.

On a personal note, I just have to say that as someone who uses words, stories and speaks for a living I was absolutely riveted at how wonderfully transparent Robin Lee Hatcher is with sharing her story through the pages of this book as well. Grace, grace, grace my friends…His grace is so good. Enjoy! ~ Melissa

About the Book:

God was going to save her marriage, Allison was sure of it. But neither her husband nor her marriage had been saved.

What had become of His promise?

Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.

The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she’d misunderstood.

Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.

As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord?

Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher’s emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers—in His own time and His own ways.

If you are interested, then you can purchase a copy here: http://ow.ly/sK3Ti

Meet the author:

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Robin is the author of 65+ novels and novellas. Her home is in Idaho, where she spends her time writing stories of faith, courage, and love; pondering the things of God; and loving her family and friends.

Learn more about Robin at: http://www.robinleehatcher.com

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”